We plan to mail or hand out 50,000 postcards along the New Jersey beaches and Boardwalks, where many Yankee and Flyers fans go in the summer. Here is a rough idea of the message and images we would like to use. However, we want your opinion before we have them designed and printed. Please let us know your thoughts by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTCARD SIDE #1:
Ethel Waters recorded “Pickaninny Blues” in 1926. It may be a play on words of the 1921 hit by Noble Sissle & Eubie Blake “My Pickaninny Shoes”. That song was part of their breakthrough revue “Shuffle Along”. It instantly transformed the minstrel show from degradation of blacks to a genuine expression of black art, culture, and pride as part of “The Harlem Renaissance”.
Language, like fashion, changes. In 1931, words like “black” and “African-American” were offensive. Words like “darky”, “pickaninny” and “Mammy” were not. Those now offensive words were then in the songs, writings, and everyday speech of most blacks including leaders and celebrities like Noble Sissle, Ethel Waters, Paul Robeson and James Baldwin.
Kate Smith sang 3,000 songs. She was in her mid-20s when she recorded two songs containing those three words that are now objectionable.
POSTCARD SIDE #2:
Civil rights militant Paul Robeson also recorded “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” in 1931.
“That’s Why Darkies Were Born” was a song for justice–not white supremacy. It refers to four Bible verses condemning racism and oppression! It was sung by Robeson and jazz singer Mildred Bailey as well as Kate.
These facts are so obvious and undisputed, that they should be known by every high school graduate. Sadly, they are not. Help us change that.